in the Not-Yet Set

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 03, 2006

Today's New York Times has discovered -- or, more likely, invented -- the phenomenon of "hetero hold-outs," and treats us to a cheery puff piece on the subject:

Some heterosexual couples, mostly in their in 20s and 30s, are protesting the inability of gay and lesbian couples to marry by putting off their own marriage. Unless wedded bliss is available to everyone, in every state, they say, they want no part of it.

"Wedded bliss"? If you're inclined to suspect that these heroic couples have denied themselves the wedding more often than the bliss, this article will not put your doubts to rest:

Despite having a son, 18, [Andrea Ayvazian and Michael Klare of Massachusetts] are among the couples who say "not yet" to marriage until gays and lesbians have the same right to marry as heterosexuals.

I'm sure the 18-year-old in question is waiting with bated breath for the Big Day ("Will Mom wear white ...?") so as to celebrate the postponed union of his exceptionally prescient parents, who must have begun their nuptial strike during the Reagan administration -- when gay marriage was barely a gleam in the old man's eye. Yet it's clear that Andrea and Michael, like the other heroes the NYT holds up for our admiration, have done without the ceremony of matrimony rather than its privileges. They congratulate themselves, fittingly, on a protest without a price.

The most important fact pertinent to this article is that it appears in the Times' Fashion & Style section. Because it is morally frivolous, the campaign for same-sex marriage has died of its own weightlessness wherever proposed as a claim to be taken seriously. Yet a hugely prosperous society can spend a lot of attention on un-serious things -- particularly its own diversion -- and much elite opinion on social issues is formed less by dialectic than by style.

This is important. Whereas a principled stand is inherently criticizable and requires defense by argument, a fashion just is. By the same token, a change in fashion isn't explained or debated or voted on, it is simply announced -- among other places, on the pages of the New York Times. If you can't persuade your fellow citizens that a social innovation is righteous or reasonable, it's best to convince them that it's chic.

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  • Posted by: - Dec. 04, 2006 10:29 AM ET USA

    Gwyneth says we should wait until the London Times weighs in on this.

  • Posted by: Sir William - Dec. 04, 2006 9:05 AM ET USA

    Perhaps this shack up couple are making this fuss now so as to convince their own son not to marry and thus keep making his parents' choice look legit. Brilliant tactic, that, from an economic view - they might eventually get a granchild out of the deal without having to pay the bar tab at the wedding reception.

  • Posted by: Italiana - Dec. 03, 2006 5:57 PM ET USA

    Right "special ops sacerdos" and chic. It fashionable in Hollywood and extremly chic to have several children out of wedlock from various women/by various men. Some find it stylish to have their pictures taken with their dogs, but more find it chic to have pictures with their children. That way they, being so self-righteous, can tell us how to raise our own children. If only we were as enlightened as they. If only as smart. Chic, fashionable, socially adroit.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Dec. 03, 2006 1:32 PM ET USA

    Actually, "Italiana," most of these folks do not have children, as they do not want them & are not open to God's miracle of life, so these "couples" have a lot in common with gays & lesbians, who themselves cannot be open to life when immersed in a same-sex ambivialent lifestyle. Diogenes points out that since these couples have abandoned faith & reason, & turned their back on God's Covenant of love & the Culture of life, they have to turn, along with the NYT, to a culture of fashion & chic.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 03, 2006 1:29 PM ET USA

    This story raises a wonderful flock of questions. Such as: did this holier-than-thou couple call their pious example in to the NYT for publication? Does the NYT have a holier-than-thou desk to call? Do you have to offer corroborating evidence of your holier-than-thou status (notarized, of course) to the lady at this desk? Must it be done in person, or will US mails do? How about email? How do we know this couple is in their twenties or thirties (with an eighteen year old son)?

  • Posted by: Italiana - Dec. 03, 2006 9:34 AM ET USA

    So not getting married until gays can is their excuse to shack up together have babies out of wedlock, separate, live with someone else, have more illegimitate children ad nauseum?

  • Posted by: - Dec. 03, 2006 6:32 AM ET USA

    The New York Times - "The Newspaper of Record!" Oh my, how we cherish our secularlists. May I submit a Catholic suggestion for their mast head. "There is nothing quite so irredeemable as the New York Times." (Msgr. George Kelley)